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Atlas Obscura

By: on November 09, 2016
$26.24
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Atlas Obscura has a glowing endorsement from Neil Gaiman on its front cover, which can only mean this Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders is my Door to London Below. Or maybe Red, White, and Black Londons. Or, fine, maybe just somewhere really cool no one knows about (or knew about until they all read Atlas Obscura) in plain old Gray London.

If Atlas Obscura does its job as intended, readers of this quirky non-tourist attraction guidebook are going to walk away (hopefully to the nearest plane) with a much longer Bucket List than they started out with. Possibly over 700 line items longer, if you dig every one of Atlas Obscura's picks for the "strangest and most curious places in the world." Some selections:

  • New Zealand's glowworm caves.
  • A baobob tree in South Africa that's so large it has a 15-seat pub inside.
  • Spain's Baby Jumping Festival.
  • Turkmenistan's 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell.
  • A weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches on display in Devon, England.
  • Atlas Obscura, which started as (and still is) an online catalogue of the world's strange and unusual marvels, made it to gift-ready book form thanks to result of the long hours and adventurous travels of Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton.

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The World According To Americans

$8.25 - $47.95 from Zazzle »

With the possible exception of the "AIDS" label that's covering half of Africa, some of these American stereotypes of the rest of world are surprisingly lacking in wickedness. I would have expected less superficial ignorance...

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G-RO Smart Luggage & Backpacks

$129 - $279 from G-RO »

G-RO made its first go at conquering the hassles of bag packing and bag schlepping a couple of years ago with the G-RO Carry-on. After a successful crowdfunding campaign and production run for the lone piece of luggage...

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Mainland USA, According to Common Sense

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The sad thing is, I'm pretty sure all of these "jokes" are based on actual statistics from the US Census. The other sad thing is, I bet the 95% of us who couldn't name half of the color blocks when looking at a blank...

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MonPere Travel Pillow

$71 from MonPere »

MonPere says its new travel pillow, which looks like the arms of a Sesame Street character on a mission to give hugs / snap necks, is "weird for a reason." Apparently, the company's years of testing and prototyping the...

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Anti-Kidnapping Watch Band

$20 from Gearward »

Mark Greenman has seen the TIHK and raised it a ceramic razor blade, a 4' Kevlar friction saw, and one trip to the lower hemisphere. In his own words: I designed the A-K Band because I plan on traveling to South America...

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Pack This! Notepad

$6.30 from Amazon »

Pack This! Forgetful Jones. Just don't forget where you put Knock Knock's handy traveler's prep list once you fill it in....

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Zippelin Inflatable Truck Tarp Travel Bag

$505 from Freitag »

A recycled truck tarp, a couple bike tire tubes, and Zippelin-doo-dah - you've got an inflatable travel bag. A big and sturdy travel bag whose "frame" blows up light as a Bud when you need it, and then empties out so...

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Map of the Internet

$36.95 from Zazzle »

Jay Simons: student; amateur graphic designer; Slovakian; Internet cartographer. If the Web were divided into land masses, grouped along lines of latitude and meridians and flattened into a map on your desk, what would...

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Pilot Real-Time In-Ear Translator

$299 from Waverly Labs »

Even though Pilot's crowdfunding campaign hasn't even launched yet (expect it on IndieGoGo very soon) this translator has already got the internet abuzz. In English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German.... Not only does...

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The Knee Defender

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Ye of long legs, take note: though the Knee Defender can't increase the amount of space you have within your sphere of airplane seat misery, it can prevent further reduction of the already minimal square footage. Comprised...

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US State 3D Wood Topographic Maps

$75 - $125 from Etsy »

And if you go with Florida, you can use your 3D Wood Topographic Map as a perfectly level cutting board! Haha, Florida's flatter than piss on a plate. I've always wanted to ride a Schwinn 10 Speed top-to-bottom through...

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Portable Armrest Extender & Divider

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To put this armrest extender and divider on my airplane seat the next time I fly somewhere do I need the person next to me's permission? I mean, it's not like the Knee Defender, aiding in my comfort at the expense of...